Snow seems to be evading us so far this winter, but that doesn't mean your Read-Alouds also need to be snow-free. This year, the literary world is celebrating the 50th anniversary of The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. The Washington Post gave the book a nod in the Sunday, January 1, 2012 edition. The Snowy Day broke a color barrier in children's literature, featuring the first African American child protagonist.
Keats' book follows a young boy named Peter through his exploration of a fresh snowfall. It's a fun book to read just after a snowstorm or in anticipation of one. Talk with the kids at your Read-Aloud about their past experiences with snow. Most will remember the past two winters when we had very different amounts of snow. Start a discussion by asking the kids if they have done the same things that Peter does in the snow.
The illustrations of this book are also very special. The Snowy Day won the 1963 Caldecott Medal given "to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children" each year. Keats used collage to create the snowscape, Peter and his surroundings. For more information about Ezra Jack Keats and The Snowy Day, check out its entry on the Children's Book-A-Day Almanac from last March.
To expand on this book, Reading Rockets has created a Family Literacy Bag based on The Snowy Day. These bags are intended for parents to use with their children, but will work just as well for TRC volunteers to use as Read-Aloud starters.
The Literacy Bag includes instructions for perfect Read-Aloud activities such as making a collage snow scene and homemade snowflakes as well as an ice melting experiment. The information packet also includes companion titles such as Snow Is Falling by Franklyn M. Branley.
There are 19 Reading Rockets' Family Literacy Bags on a variety of topics. When you're looking for something different for a Read-Aloud theme, check here for some pre-fabricated sessions.
To receive credit for this online training, please fill out the form here.